This weekend I attended my first Hard Boys tournament. I drove out to Uknown Comics and Games in Scranton, PA. Why did I drive two and a half hours to play in Hard Boys when I could have simply gone about 45 minutes? The loot baby! Unknown Comics and Games was celebrating their first Hard Boys tournament by offering up a complete 1850 point army for first place. In addition to the regular GW prizes. With the Grey Knight codex looming, I had to go for the toys.
So I got there and was greeting the guys and pulling out my Blood Angels, when I noticed a scary sight... Wave Serpents and Falcon Grav Tanks. Lots of them. UGH! Over a third of the participants in this tournament were Eldar scum. This was not going to be a fun day at all. I was not entirely afraid of Eldar in the 2nd two missions. I knew they were straight up punch each other in the face, and I could go toe to toe with their fire power. But game one would be the tough one. Mech Eldar is tough to beat in a 5 objective mission. They don't usually win, but they almost never lose. That was my fear. If I drew mechdar in game one, that would pretty much eliminate me from contention for the loot.
Sure enough... game one had me up against 4 or 5 wave serpents and 3 Falcon Grav tanks, a seer council, lots of fire dragons and Eldrad. Oh no.
I didnt get pics or vid because we were on the clock and I didn't need the distraction of a camera, so I will summarize the three games I played.
In this game, while playing for the objectives, I treated it as a kill point mission. First order of business was to knock down his cursed grav tanks. One treat I managed to enjoy was getting the drop on his Seer Council. Winning first turn, and scout moving my baal preds got them both up into his face before he could use his powers. By the end of the turn, all he had left was a couple of warlocks that I later finished off with my terminators. The rest of the game would be 5 rounds of him zooming around in a big arc around the table, and me staying pretty much stationary and shooting, like you see in all the WWII documentaries of anti aircraft gunners on the deck of a battle ship. Other highlights of the game were me assaulting Eldrad, twice, and breaking him under my boot heals, and catching a serpent loaded with Dire Avengers with its tail up against the board edge. I completely surrounded it with my Death Star squad, and destroyed it on the assault. The squad inside had no place to go, not even room to emergency disembark, thanks to some precise arrangement of my models. That was satisfying.
In the end though, it was all for nothing. I had almost my entire force on the table. He had a Serpent with no guns, two half dead Dire Avenger squads and a couple of war walkers. I killed over 2 grand of his 2500 victory points. I was holding all five objectives. Then he got his last turn in... he claimed one by blasting away the 5 marines that were on it. He blasted away the 5 marines holding another, then used his serpent to contest two of mine. Stupid tank. I killed 6 of the damn things! No easy feat. The game ended in a draw, giving me a grand total of 3 battle points. Drat. I have to say it was a great game. We both knew what he was going to do, and it was a game about me trying to stop him from doing it. I failed. Those xenos skimmers are tough to kill! Well Done Frank, I will also add that his army is beautiful. One of the nicest Eldar armies I have ever seen. I wish I had taken pics.
Game two landed me on a table vs a Foot eldar list. He would face the full fury of the Blood Angels. Collin was a young guy playing what looked like a fun to play cobbled together eldar infantry army. Just the army you don't want to play against mine. He had a prism, a couple of Wraithlords, an Avatar, a foot seer council, banshees, scorps, spiders, rangers, dire avengers, guardians, bikes and vypers... you name it! But sadly for Collin, I was into the assault on the top of turn two at three different areas of his army. My first round was spent moving into position, and killing his avatar. The second turn saw me assault his forces with 3 assault squads and my terminators, multiple assaulting almost every unit he had on the table at once. The game was over by the end of my turn, top of 3. Collin was a great sport about it though! My red thirst sated for the time being, I would now have a long wait to find out who my third opponent would be.
Round three had me across the table from none other then Autarch Andrew. In our last meeting, I killed his orc army to the last grubby model by the end of turn 4. This mission, a high stakes kill point mission, would have me facing his mechdar list. Yet another game vs Eldar, and in a KP mission against impossible to kill grav tanks. Sigh...
Andrew got first turn, and I failed to seize it even using the Corbulo reroll. He opened up with a devastating salvo of shots, killing both of my Baal Preds, and immobilizing a Razorback and my LAND RAIDER! He then smugly stood there and smiled at me making wise cracks about payback.
Time for some good ole fashioned Fritz trickery! The first thing I had to do was kill his seer council as they would wipe out all of my transports (worth 3 KP a piece) while staying out of range of my terminators who were marching into the middle of the table. So I moved up one of my killy ac/lc predators and opened up with it on a falcon, actually immobilizing it, and definitely getting his attention. I made sure to leave one of my razors with an assault squad and priest in range of the tank though. Out of sight, out of mind. Andrew was so focused on staying away from my termies that he forgot about the squad in the razorback. His hunger for a kill point, and anger at watching his tank get immobilized brought him into assault against my pred. Sure enough, he destroyed it, but being unable to consolidate away sealed his seer council's fate. On my turn I sprung the trap! My assault squad disembarked and charged the council, pulling them all into the middle of the table. They would not escape me this time. With no power weapon in the squad, all of my boys would get feel no pain. They did not have to win, just hold. Sure enough, I locked them up in assault. The next turn, my Librarian denied him his Fortune, and the terminators made it over to join the assault. Die biker witches, die.
But the game was not over yet. I was taking the lead in kill points, but he was taking advantage of my weak transports and shooting away. Plus I had one more nut to crack. He had a banshee bomb with Yriel. I would need to bait them out into the open. I disembarked Corbs and ran him and his squad across the table to assault a skimmer. With little hope of destroying it, I knew the effort was futile, but that was not the goal. The goal was to get his banshees out of their serpent, and in the open. Yet again, Andrew bit on my gambit. Of course he assaulted and killed the squad, but that left him exposed to my ferocious round of shooting. Andrew even scoffed at my chances to kill the squad since I would only get one assault cannon into range. Well he was given a lesson on just what Fast Vehicle means when it is coupled with Twin Linked Assault Cannon, and a couple of auto cannon preds with las cannon sponsons across the table. All I really had to do was kill most of them and reduce their effective as a unit. I opened up my guns, and when the smoke settled, there were only 3 banshees left and Yriel.
Now the game would come down to mopup. In order to chance at the top prize, I would have to beat him by double kill points I believe. But that was not good enough for me. I wanted more blood! By the end of the game, all he had left on the table was a serpent with a few dire aveners hiding in the woods, and a single war walker. The highlights of the game were exploding a serpent loaded with dire avengers, then having them fail leadership at the end of the shooting and run off the table, and beating Yriel in assault and chasing him off the table. Better luck next time Andrew! Now get some guns on those walkers, and make sure your skimmers are on flying stands!
So I did my part to make up for my game one draw. I scored maximum possible points on the rest of the day, killing almost all of my opponents available victory points. Out of a possible 7500 victory points on the day, I scored 7022. Of my three opponents, only 478 victory points of models survived the day. Sadly, I needed a lot of help to win the loot, and I did not get it. I took third overall though and will go on to the next round.
I did learn a couple of changes I need to make to my list for round two however! Expect to see an even harder list as I make my attempt for round two glory.